Calisthenics Victoria Incorporated History

Calisthenics Victoria Inc. (CVI) was formed in 1986 and is the peak body servicing Calisthenics in Victoria. It brings together all the affiliated groups, with the aim of generating growth for the sport and fostering over 100 clubs across the State and its 7,600 participants.

The Victorian Calisthenic Teachers' Association (VCTA, now the VCCA), formed in 1958, had been Victoria's only Calisthenics organisation, but it represented only teachers. In 1975, another group of interested teachers, and others, created the Calisthenic Association of Victoria (CAV) as Victoria's peak body. They were formed to apply for government funding and assistance, which was being made available to sporting groups for the first time. However, the CAV did not receive the widespread support from Victorian clubs that it need to be a fully effective body, and it was to overcome this that the VCTA and the Association of Calisthenic Adjudicators proposed a fresh approach. It was from these efforts that, in 1986, CVI was formed and the CAV was dissolved.

The creation of CVI was welcomed by the other state peak bodies, and work commenced at once to create Calisthenics' first national organisation. The Australian Calisthenic Federation (ACF) was subsequently formed in 1987.

Alan Hewett was the inaugural President of CVI, with Margaret Lingham the Secretary.

Australian Calisthenics History

Calisthenics has its early roots in England and Europe, however the sport as we know it today came to prominence in the Victorian gold rush era.  Called Physical Culture at the time, its aim was the promotion and enjoyment of physical fitness. Calisthenics was developed to provide exercises to help city dwellers keep fit.  These exercises were often combined with apparatus to keep their wrists, elbows and shoulders supple.  The dumbells and hoops of those times are currently replaced by the clubs and rods we use today.

Musical accompaniment was introduced and enhanced performances and it slowly became an integral part of the sport. Public classes began in the 1880's.  By 1903 the Royal South Street Society introduced Calisthenics to its famous Eisteddfod in Ballarat.  The competition in Ballarat is still the focus for many clubs in Australia.

Calisthenics was introduced into Victorian State Schools in the 1930s. The sport became so popular that Calisthenic Clubs spread rapidly throughout Australia, although mostly in Victoria and South Australia.  Now, in the 21st century Australian Calisthenics is nationwide with national competitions being held annually in different States. There are hundreds of Calisthenic clubs across Australia, attracting over 15,000 participants.


CVI Life Members

1987 Betty Bennett
  Ethel Blackeby
  Bill Dahl
  Joy Fildes
  Rod Gale
  Vera Hopton
  Lois Magennis
  Norm Plant
1991 Bill Woodward
1994 Betty Corrigan
1995 Margaret Lingham
1996 Brenda Green
1998 Gwenda Lucas
1999 Bev Gorman
2001 Bev Gaudion
  Joan Lloyd
  Jeanette Schreck
2002 Wayne Jones
  Jan Lavender
2003 Margaret Campbell
  Trish McLeod
  Joy Smith
2004 Peter Cohen
2005 Norm Pearce
2006 Judy Currie
2007 Barb Elliott
2008 Lynne Hayward
2010 Liz Hickey
  Barbara Nickless
2015 Judi Baird
  Julie Fox